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Laura Whitmore's top tips for vintage shopping

"I have loved this year’s fashion, by far the best dressed Islanders ever!"

laura whitmore ebay
Natalie Salmon
Natalie SalmonFashion Digital Editor
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This has been a groundbreaking year for Love Island. Away from the amorous antics of the Islanders, it has been the year which has cemented preloved looks as key to a sartorially savvy wardrobe, and put sustainability at the top of fashion’s agenda. When it was announced last month that everyone's favourite summer reality show was partnering with eBay, eyebrows were raised. The Love Island look has historically been fast fashion-focused, so we were excited to see what kind of outfits this year's islanders would be sporting. 

In an effort to get audiences to shop more sustainably eBay created a portal called the eBay x Love Island hub where you can shop the Islanders looks. Earlier this month the show’s presenter Laura Whitmore even curated her own preloved wardrobe on the platform which consisted of over 50 dresses, skirts, playsuits, tops, suits, co-ords and band tees could be bought on auction.

RELATED: Love Island stylist spills fashion secrets. From slashing hems to the questionnaire all islanders had to fill in 

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Laura in a preloved Spice Girls band tee and preloved Free People blue floral flare trousers 

Our fashion editor Rachel Story managed to speak with the Irish presenter in between her busy filming schedule to find out more, and get her tips for finding vintage treasures online…

What have you loved wearing the most on this series of Love Island? 

For me my first outfit was very special because I wore the red Joshua Kane suit, which I wore for the final of the first Love Island I ever hosted, which was a tough show for me but I felt comfortable in what I was wearing and I think that’s very, very important because you dress for yourself and no one else. I loved the fact I could re-wear it and make it different by cutting it, and thankfully Joshua was very happy and agreed for us to go ahead and do that. So, for me it was a very special outfit because it was an outfit I’d worn before but we did something a little different with it, I didn’t wear the jacket I just wore the waistcoat and the shorts. 

What have you thought of the fashion on Love Island this year? Has there been a particular stand out outfit for you and if so which one? 

I have loved this year’s fashion, by far the best dressed Islanders ever! There’s been a few Islanders that have stood out. Tasha wore a black dress this week with a really high slit, I thought that was stunning. She also had this green sequined dress that was great that she wore for the party! And the silver boots that she wore, I think Tasha might have my favourite style. 

RELATED: How did Love Island's Iain Stirling and Laura Whitmore meet?

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Laura in a preloved Topshop Kate Moss floral dress from eBay

What are your top tips for finding pre-loved treasures online? 

You need to roughly know what you want, because to search you need some specific details because there’s a lot on eBay, so it’s using the search engine correctly to pin point it down. The great thing about eBay is that if you like a particular style, it will pick that up. So, say for example if you liked a Versace dress, but wanted something a little bit cheaper, you can type that in and a lot of sellers will use great tag lines which are really helpful, so all you need is one or two words and it’ll curate this great list of finds.

What’s your most treasured pre-loved item in your wardrobe?

A lot of my items that are pre-loved I then pass on to someone else, so I give to charity shops. Unless it’s something that I want to re-wear and re-wear I do try and pass it on. I have this top that my cousin gave me when I was about 13, it’s such a simple top but I love it because I remember it from when we were kids she had it and then she passed it down to me, and I still have it in my wardrobe. But then a lot of stuff I wear, especially on red carpets I don’t keep necessarily so it’s not in my wardrobe anymore.

RELATED: The Love Island Effect: eBay has seen 700% increase in search

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Laura in a preloved Reiss denim jumpsuit from eBay

How important is sustainability to you?

It’s important to make little changes to your life when thinking about being more sustainable, it’s all about learning, and not about being perfect. Things such as sharing clothes with friends or re-selling are a great way to take steps towards being more sustainable and also bringing new life to your wardrobe without it being expensive and finding brands you might not have seen before in the high street.

What impact do you think the partnership between eBay and Love Island is having on the viewers and Great British public? 

We’ve already seen a 700% increase on eBay from people searching for pre-loved clothes, so I think that’s very important and Love Island is such a great platform, particularly for the younger audience, so I think it’s got a great reach to help us see that you don’t necessarily always need new. 

How has your style evolved over the years and since becoming a Mum? 

My style has evolved over the years naturally as everyone’s does, I’ve just learnt about my body shape and what I feel good in, and to dress for myself and not anyone else. Sometimes we can be dressing for what we feel is on trend even though we don’t like it.

5 tips from Laura Whitmore, to shop preloved like a pro:

1) Upstyle your current wardrobe favourites

When browsing for something new, always keep your current wardrobe in mind so your pre-loved finds will fit right in. Look out for inspo from your social feed or ultimate Islanders to see how they’re putting outfits together, be that styling a new band tee to fit perfectly with your favourite staple jeans or bringing in a disco skirt you know will match with all the tops already hanging in your closet.

2) Search terms and filters are key 

There are so many amazing listings on eBay, so the more specific you are, the more you can save time and find what you’re really looking for. Put as much detail into your searches and check out the filters to narrow down your results by size, colour, brand, location, price and more.

3) Become pals with the seller 

What makes eBay so special is its hub of sellers, who really are your friend when shopping for pre-loved. Whether you want a closer look at the item you’re eyeing up with more photos, or would like to pick up the piece in person, just drop them a line.

4) Bag a bargain 

eBay has a ‘Best Offer’ function, which means that if you see ‘Make Offer’ listed on an item, you have the option to contact the seller with your preferred price. If they accept your offer, it could help your pennies stretch even further when trying to get your hands on that designer item.

5) Get alerts 

 If you’ve seen a dream dress or there’s a designer that you really want to get your hands on, you can set up alerts so that eBay notifies you if someone lists the product on site. Simply type in what you’re looking for, select save search, and eBay will email you when your sought-after piece is available to buy.

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